An open note to my school-year-stressed-out self

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Remember when you’re sitting in the routine among one hundred papers to grade and deadline week that you can breathe. You can take a minute, or better yet an hour, to let it all go. To realize that all that you think has to be done right now, can wait another day. You work hard, you always have. It’s enough.

Remember during these times what the Chicago skyline looked like at night atop a high rise. Think back on Nashville to the powerful and reassuring words Katie shared. Remember screaming at the height of your lung’s capacity on Millennium Force. Remember the conversations that ended in your family and friends supporting you in all facets of your journey. If what today brings bleeds into tomorrow, remember a weekend isn’t too far away and sleep will relax muscles your awake self can’t – like your brain. Your strength lies in your words, your prayers for stability, and your ability to be a positive force in other’s lives.

Take time to write. Take time to stop, accept the reality of your now and make a plan. You thrive on lists; make one. The check mark is the most powerful thing you can create on paper. The power and pride it holds pushes you forward. Check off being fabulous, because girl, you know you are! 😋

Remember that the challenges your kids face are not yours. But realize your impact on them every day. You can spark a smile or a chuckle at how interactive and excited you teach concepts. You teach them things every day. And you can’t control everything, even though you try. Let it go.

Remember the feeling of laughing endlessly at Amelia and Alex. Remember how six-year-old Alex gets the hiccups when she laughs; that’s the best. Laugh now.

Wander back to when you first met her eyes and felt something you thought was lost long ago. That’s hope. If nothing else, you felt hope for the first time in years. You’re a better person for it and your outlook is a little clearer now.

This summer has taught you about freedom and personal happiness. You fought the urge to stay home, in your comfort zone. You smiled more than other summers, and realized this adult life is all you make it to be. Believe in a good life, you’ve made a good start.

So, let it be. And be thankful.

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